Monday, November 22, 2010

Farmers Markets

When in France, I love the weekly markets. You would know this, if you have followed this blog for anytime, as I have posted numerous entries, with gushing praise for the Sunday market in St. Antonin. My French friends do not always understand my enthusiasm. I am often asked, "Don't you have the same thing where you live?". My immediate answer is "NO". The French market is such a deep-rooted part of French life & culture, that, no, Americans do not have that same cultural connection.

That being said, my next response is always, "Yes, we do!". In my neighborhood we have a wonderful small local farmers market that sets up shop every Thursday afternoon from May- early Nov. Unfortunately they did not make it to the Thanksgiving weekend this year, but their are other larger farmers markets open this week in the Boston area.

I took these photos a few weeks back of our charming little market, when we were still having warmer weather. We were eating fresh corn right into the end of October, so good, so sweet. Now with the buy organic & buy local movements in full swing in this country, more & more Americans are seeking out their local farmers markets. Although agreeably, the produce is decidedly more expensive than supermarkets, the quality & taste can not be compared.

Here is something that might be unique to our local market, live lobsters. This lobsterman brings his days catch along with his wife's homemade relishes & jellies to sell. Farmers markets across the country are special in this way. Not only marvelous fresh produce but all manner of other local products of exceptional quality. Cheeses, baked goods, preserves, our market even hosts a dairy, that still delivers milk in glass bottles, who comes just to give out samples of their rich, creamy, plain or ,yum, my favorite, chocolate milk.

So for all of my French friends that might read this, yes, we do, & here it is, our market.
And for all of my American readers, where ever you may be, remember to support your local farmers markets, buy organic when you can, shop locally & have a very happy, healthy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Art of the Americas Wing Opens at the MFA

The official opening of the long awaited new wing at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston will be November 20. However, all this week the Art of the Americas wing will be open for a sneak peek to all MFA members. The celebration began Sunday with a viewing geared toward families, with lots of kid friendly activities to make the day especially memorable for all.

I invited my granddaughter, Gracie, to accompany me & off we went. Although a little overcast, it was an almost perfect fall day, & we had a lovely time together. The fun began with dancers on stilts outside the entrance to the museum.

Just entering the majestic glass courtyard is truly awe-inspiring. The magnificent space spans three floors & provides a place for large sculptures as well as a new & lovely venue for dinning.

Gracie & I had fun exploring the building & the exhibits on display. The new wing dramatically increases the Museum’s ability to exhibit its collection of art from the United States and North, Central, and South America. We enjoyed looking at the exhibit of Mayan artifacts, as well as, the contemporary art on the third level.

But for Gracie, the best part of the day was spent doing the many activities & projects provided for all the children. I saw quite a few grand parents, who like me, were enjoying sharing this monumental experience with their grand children.

There were tables for drawing, new painting studios provided a space for watercolors not only for children but grown-ups, too, there were passports to be filled out & stamped as you searched for clues in the galleries & much, much more to keep little ones active & entertained. Here is Gracie along with other small museum goers hard at work on self portraits.

It was a lovely day, a wonderful way to spend time with my granddaughter, & a magnificent addition to our museum for Boston.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Gauguin at the Tate

Paul Gauguin is the quintessential artist rebel, abandoning the responsibilities of conventional life for his art. Leaving behind a wife & five children, Gauguin traveled to Tahiti in order to fully realize his artistic dream. As an explanation, he wrote to his friend, Emile Bernard, saying,"Terrible itching for the unknown makes me do things I shouldn't." At least he showed an awareness for his conflict. More of his conflicted thoughts regarding this subject can be heard in the following video produced by the Tate Modern in London. In honor of the currant Gauguin Retrospective , which runs from September 30 through January 16, the Tate has put together a thoughtful portrait of the artist, using his own words. Taken from letters, written to family & friends, he gives us insight into the artist & the man. I think, in all of us, there lies a desire to run away to devote ourselves to our passion, whatever it may be. However, few of us actually act upon it. Perhaps that is why the myth behind Gauguin looms so large. Although, he certainly does not score high marks as a husband & father, his body of work is a treasure to behold. After closing at the Tate, the exhibition will travel to the National Gallery in Washinton D C from February 27 to June 5, 2011.